Buyer’s Remorse

It shames me to say it because I know there are much bigger problems in the world today, but I have a problem of my own: buyer’s remorse.

[If we were on Twitter, my opener would read something obnoxious like: “It shames me to say it, but I have a big problem: buyer’s remorse. #firstworldproblems].


But here’s the thing …  I love to shop … the thrill of finding a “good deal,” trying things on [how does this bag look draped over my shoulder, how soft is the fabric, does the skirt hit right below my knee (I hate anything above the knee on me), does this shoe make me taller than Luis? (if it does, it goes back on the rack – don’t judge; it’s a pet-peeve of mine to be taller!)] … Shopping is my guilty pleasure and, silly as it sounds, it makes me happy.

I shop when I am excited, I shop when I’m bummed. Pretty much any day can be made better by a quick trip to the mall, a window-shopping stroll downtown, or a quick browse online.

Lest you think I’m compensating for something lacking in my life, let me assure you I’m not. This is a gene I inherited from my mother. I am absolutely convinced I was born this way. My dad even says it’s in my DNA. Since I was a little girl, some of my favorite memories include my mom and I shopping. Gabbing. Lunching. It’s not that we had a lot of money — we didn’t (and I still don’t!). But it was a past-time we shared and enjoyed. Not much has changed — except now, I generally buy my own purchases — she buys for Maya 😉 I’d blame her but the truth is, I don’t mind this being my guilty pleasure. I don’t do drugs or anything … surely shopping isn’t that bad for me.

My issue with shopping is that I tend to go on a binge … buy a ton of stuff I see  … and then save the receipts and hang said stuff (tags on!) in my closet. At least half the time, I keep what I purchase. But the other half of the time, I realize the dressing mirrors were falsely flattering or the top doesn’t really go with the skirt I already had at home, after all, or the shoes are all wrong with dress I was convinced for which it would have been the perfect accoutrement.

Sometimes when I get home, I realize I was giddy and have second thoughts. Times like that I channel my inner Dr. Jake Houseman in Dirty Dancing when he says, “When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.” And back to Gap/Banana/Loft I go, usually within days. Sometimes the realization strikes a few weeks later and sometimes I find something I like better … or just make the return and walk out empty-handed, clutching return receipts.

Point is, I suffer a lot of buyer’s remorse.

Today we went to a different mall than we usually go to — a much!bigger!mall!– and since I had Maya and Luis with me [i.e., two impatient shoppers!] I couldn’t spend eons trying stuff on and hemming and hawing before shoving a bunch of things onto the checkout counter.

This meant I only bought exactly what I wanted/needed: ONE dress on sale at Gap and TWO outfits for Maya at Crazy 8 on [crazy] clearance. L bought a couple things too (for a guy, he does love to shop … he just doesn’t have patience for my lengthy dialogues about the pros and cons of shoes and bags), we had a quick dinner in the food court since it was getting late, and then we headed home.

When we got back here, I realized that — for the first time in a long time — I have no buyer’s remorse and am 100 percent sure I will keep all my purchases. Why? Because I didn’t shop in excess, didn’t spend above our means, didn’t buy “just in case,” didn’t buy simply just because something was on sale [though it all was].

Naturally, this realization made me think of another aspect of my life where I tend to have an issue with excess. You see, my shopping addiction and relationship with spending is very similar to how I feel about food and exercise. When I spend within reason on things I really want … I have no guilt and feel good and justified about my purchases. Likewise, when I exercise within reason and eat mostly healthfully I feel good about myself and can more easily justify enjoying the foods I want.

Imagine that …

In a way, it’s that whole “one good choice leads to another” mentality. Whether it’s about shopping or food, it really resonated with me today.

And today, I feel no buyer’s remorse or diner’s remorse. I’d say that is the marking of a good Saturday.

How about you? Do you ever experience buyer’s remorse or diner’s remorse?


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